Day 8: When the rains finally stopped in Budapest (Apr 2017)

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April 20th 2017
Published: July 16th 2017
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Thursday, 20th April 2017

Early this morning, with the skies still drizzling, we were off to the Holocaust Memorial Center to pay our tribute to the Hungarian Jews who were exterminated during the Second World War. Like the concentration camp experience in Dachau, the visit was a sobering one as it presented chronological history of the Jews from the 1930s right up to the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" in 1945. Anyone interested in this part of WWII history should not give the Center a miss during their stay in Budapest. After completing our visit at the exhibition gallery, we hung around at the synagogue for a while to calm our nerves before moving on to our lunch venue.

Café Central was selected after reading some great reviews of the place. We ordered two mains as well as coffee and desserts to go along with our meals. I thoroughly enjoyed my duck confit as the meat was really tender. H ordered the chicken breast which was equally well done. In contrast, the coffee and desserts were rather forgettable. The saving grace was probably the attentive service and the high ceiling interior which exuded an old world charm. On a rainy afternoon like today, Café Central is certainly a great place to people-watch while sipping a cup of hot beverage.

After lunch, we braved through the rains and the winds to the Parliament House in search for the "Shoes on the Danube Memorial". This is a very moving tribute erected by the river that captured the dying moments of the many Jews before they were shot dead into the Danube. Before meeting their fate, they were ordered to strip themselves naked with their shoes off (a final humiliation before death) in front of a firing squad.

By evening, with the skies cleared, we headed to the legendary Szechenyi Thermal Baths located at the tail end of Metro Line #1. After a "heavy" day with WWII memorials, this was a very welcoming place as we soaked our cares away at the outdoor pool. With ambient temperatures hovering at a comfortable 12 degrees, this was a great experience to mark the end of our trip in Budapest.

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